Champions League Soccer

I watched the Manchester United-Barcelona Champions League Semifinal today, and I couldn’t decide who I wanted to win. I’m usually a supporter of any English side (except Chelsea) since I enjoy the Premier League the most, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to see an all-England Final.

If I were English, or didn’t care about the average American’s opinion about soccer, I would really enjoy seeing a Man U-Liverpool final. Man U has already played Liverpool twice and Chelsea three times this season, going 2-0 against Liverpool and 1-1-1 against Chelsea. To my knowledge, Barca hasn’t taken the field against either team this year. Obviously, this would have created a fresh, new match up that might intrigue the casual American fan enough to flip on the TV and watch.

Unfortunately, Paul Scholes had other ideas when he lashed the ball into the top corner of the net in the 13th minute. I was very surprised at the frantic pace of the opening 45 minutes, but it slowed considerably after the halftime break. I had to miss the last 20 minutes of the game for class, but I understand that not much happened in the second half. Henry had little effect on the game and Ronaldinho was unavailable. Samuel Eto’o was virtually non-existent until he was substituted at the beginning of the second half. The only player that really impressed me for Barca was Deco, who strung together a couple good chances in the first, but overall Barca never looked threatening and Man U deserved to win, even without the services of Wayne Rooney.

I’ll be pulling for Liverpool tomorrow since I have a die-hard Reds fan in my house and I hate all things Chelsea (except Frank Lampard and John Terry, they’re just that good). I’m not expecting them to win though and I think a Chelsea-Man U final would be more entertaining since Man U has outscored Liverpool 4-0 in their two meetings this season, but I’ll still be sporting my old Michael Owen jersey. Having said all that, mark me down for a 2-0 Chelsea win and a Man U-Chelsea Grand Final.

EPSN’s limited soccer coverage has just informed me that this will be the first time in Champions League history that two English teams will meet in the Final. What do you all think the score will be? Leave your comments…

My All-Time NFL Team

I actually put this together a couple months ago but I figured it was worth of being put onto this site. This is my All-Time NFL Team, as the title so cleverly suggests. Please keep in mind that I didn’t necessarily pick who I think is the absolute best for each position, but instead I picked players that I thought would work best together, granted a large majority of the time this overlaps with who the best player is at the given position. I also realize that I have this laid out like a depth chart and for all intents and purposes it is, but understand that with a lot of positions it would be on a primarily situational basis to determine who would be in and who wouldn’t be and you’d be splitting hairs to decide who’s actually better anyhow. Also note that for positions where I couldn’t quite make up my mind, I put two players – It’s my list, I can do what I want. With the obvious versatility that this team brings you would be able to run basically any defensive formation as well as any offensive formation, though I was originally taking formations into consideration when selecting players.

If you have any questions about why I picked or left off certain players, feel free to leave a comment and that way I can respond directly on the comment board so that if anyone else has the same question it will all be right there for them.

QB1: Peyton Manning SS1: Ronnie Lott
QB2: Dan Marino SS2: Ken Houston
QB3: Joe Montana/Brett Favre
FS1: Sammy Baugh
RB1: Barry Sanders FS2: Larry Wilson/Emlen Tunnell
RB2: Jim Brown
RB3: Ladanian Tomlinson CB1: Deion Sanders
RB4: Jerome Bettis CB2: Dick Lane
RB5: Walter Payton CB3: Mel Blount
CB4: Rod Woodson
FB1: Bronko Nagurski CB5: Bobby Boyd
WR1: Jerry Rice *LB: Dick Butkus
WR2: Don Hutson *LB: Ray Nitschke
WR3: Lance Alworth *LB: Lawrence Taylor
WR4: Marvin Harrison *LB: Ray Lewis
WR5: Terrell Owens *LB: Mike Singletary
WR6: Don Maynard *LB: Jack Lambert
TE1: Antonio Gates LE1: David Jones
TE2: Kellen Winslow LE2: Gino Marchetti
TE3: John Mackey/Dallas Clark
DT1: Joe Greene
LT1: Anthony Munoz DT2: Bob Lilly
LT2: Jonathan Ogden DT3: Merlin Olsen
LG1: John Hannah RE1: Reggie White
LG2: Gene Upshaw RE2: Bruce Smith
C1: Mel Hein P: Dustin Colquitt/Shane Lechler
C2: Dwight Stephenson K: Mike Vanderjagt/Adam Vinatieri
RG1: Jim Parker KR1: Devin Hester
RG2: Larry Little KR2: Gale Sayers
STP: Steve Tasker
RT1: Forrest Gregg *I was going to specify between inside and outside linebackers but I think that they are all versatile enough to play either so it doesn’t really matter.
RT2: Roosevelt Brown
Coach: Paul Brown/Bill Walsh

A Non-Draft Related Post

Kauffman From the Parking Lot

While Weller was frantically blogging the draft and sending me text messages breaking the bad news of who the Rams drafted, I was lounging around at the top of Kauffmann Stadium taking in the Blue Jays-Royals game.

It was a little cool, but we were one of the first 20,000 fans meaning we got free Royals blankets!

The game itself was pretty uneventful, thanks to some pretty good pitching from Shaun Marcum and Luke Hochevar. Jose Guillen launched a 396-foot solo homerun to left in the 6th and the Royals won 2-1, with Hochevar picking up his first Major League victory.

We did get to see Baseball Tonight’s #1 Web Gem of the night when Tony Pena Jr. went deep in the hole and gunned Adam Lind out from his knees in the 8th inning. It was a pretty impressive play.

As you may know, Kauffman is undergoing some significant renovations so they can hold the All-Star game sometime between 2011 and 2014. The area around the fountains is pretty torn up, the bullpens have been moved, and the concourses are being renovated. They did have their new, massive LCD video board in full working order. It’s almost overwhelming with all the information that they can now put up there. It’s a far cry from their old Jumbotron.

New ScoreboardOverall, our trip to Kauffman was pleasant, as it always is. Kauffman is one of the better places to see a ball game, in my opinion, because there’s not really a bad seat in the house. The tickets we had cost us $11 ($5, actually, since we were there with the school Jen is student teaching for, but regular price is $11). The construction made it a little tough to maneuver after the game, but that should all be taken care of when the stadium is complete. Next weekend, I’ll be on the other side of the state with my roommates to see the Cardinals take on the Cubs.


Live Draft Blog (Day 2)

Okay, I’m getting started a little bit late today, but don’t worry, I’ll catch up. I forgot that it was 10:00 Eastern, not 10:00 here. Whoops.

Round 3:

64. DET- Kevin Smith, RB, Central Florida – Lions fans seem to be happy about this pick. Good at picking up short yardage. A very patient back. Good pick.

65. STL- John Greco, OT, Toledo – Sub-par agility but has good quickness.

66. MIA- Kendall Langford, DE, Hampton – Good size and good overall strength, but not very explosive. He will fit into a 3-4 system very well.

67. CAR- Charles Godfrey, CB, Iowa – Playmaker, but struggles in man coverage, he can also play safety and is good on special teams.

68. ATL- Chevis Jackson, CB, LSU – Very physical as a coverage man and when coming up to help against the run. Doesn’t make very many mistakes but doesn’t have great speed.

69. SD- Jacob Hester, FB, LSU – Not very athletic, but is a very smart football player, who understand how to play the game. He’s good when running between the tackles and is also reliable as a blocker and as a receiver coming out of the backfield.

70. CHI- Earl Bennett, WR, Vanderbilt –

71. BAL- Tavares Gooden, ILB, Miami –

72. BUF- Chris Ellis, DE, Virginia Tech –

73. KC- Jamaal Charles, RB, Texas –

74. CAR- Dan Connor, ILB, Penn St –

75. SF- Reggie Smith, CB, Oklahoma –

76. KC- Brad Cottam, TE, Tennessee –

77. CIN- Pat Sims, DT, Auburn –

78. NE- Shawn Crable, OLB, Michigan –

79. HOU- Antwaun Molden, CB, Eastern Kentucky-

80. PHI- Bryan Smith, DE, McNeese State –

81. ARI- Early Doucet, WR, LSU – Has a lot of skills that he’ll need some time to develop, but a good pick. A good slot guy. They could be preparing themselves for a holdout from another receiver maybe?

82. KC- Dejuan Morgan, FS, NC State –

83. TB- Jeremy Zuttah, OG, Rutgers –

84. ATL- Harry Douglas, WR, Louisville – He is very quick, and will be great as a slot receiver.

85. TEN- Craig Stevens, TE, California –

86. BAL- Tom Zbikowski, SS, Notre Dame – He can be a ‘game changer’ for a secondary, and is also a punt returner. Has been compared to John Lynch, who coincidentally was also taken in the third round.

87. DET- Andre Fluellen, DT, Florida St –

88. PIT- Bruce Davis, OLB, UCLA –

89. HOU- Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia – Home run hitter. Good pick. Had a much better year in 2006 than he did this past year, but should be able to help out the Texans.

90. CHI- Marcus Harrison, DT, Arkansas – Probably the best player left available at this point. Good value at this pick.

91. GB- Jermichael Finley, RE, Texas – Good balance of athleticism and size, but has a lot of upside with his potential. He probably should have stayed in college another year, but this is a pick to help out whoever the Green Bay quarterback is going to be this year.

92. DAL- Cliff Avril, DE, Purdue –

93. IND- Phillip Wheeler, ILB, Georgia Tech – This should be a good pick. This was another reach, but he probably is the best available linebacker at this point. I’m still a little confused about the fact that we haven’t drafted a defensive end or a running back, but it’s okay, I trust Bill Polian, he’s a draft genius.

94. NE- Kevin O’Connell, QB, San Diego State – I literally just laughed at this pick.

95. NYG- Mario Manningham, WR, Michigan – This is a pick that should make Eli happy. I can hear it now, “Manning to Manningham for a touchdown” it has a ring to it, haha. He has had some character issues, and not very fast or very big and struggles to create separation, but can still be useful because he doesn’t drop many balls and can catch in traffic.

96. WAS- Chad Rinehart, OG, Northern Iowa – He went to a small school, so it will be more difficult for him to adjust to the NFL than most prospects but he’s big and quick for his size. He doesn’t control blocks very well, but that’s a technique thing, which he can be taught.

97. CIN- Andre Caldwell, WR, florida – I really don’t think this selection is going to help their team. This is also the second wide receiver that the Bengals have drafted… does this mean Chad Johnson could be more likely to be traded than they’re letting on?

98. ATL- Thomas DeCoud, S, California –

99. BAL- Oniel Cousins, OG, UTEP –

Round 4:

100. OAK- Tyvon Brach, CB, UConn –

101. STL- Justin King, CB, Penn St –

102. GB- Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest –

103. TEN- William Hayes, DE, Winston Salem State – Very fast, but this is a weird pick. He wasn’t even listed as one of the players that the NFL thought would be drafted, and Mel Kiper had him listed as the 66th best DE in the draft, and that’s at his position. The Titans have absolutely thrown this draft away.

104. CLE- Beau Bell, ILB, UNLV – Arguably the best defensive player in his conference. Played very well against Wisconsin. Can play both ILB and OLB in the Browns 3-4 defense.

105. KC- William Franklin, WR, Missouri –

106. BAL- Marcus Smith, WR, New Mexico –

107. SF- Cody Wallace, C, Texas A&M –

108. DEN- Kroy Lichtensteiger, C, Bowling Green –

109. PHI- Michael McGlynn, OG, Pittsburgh –

110. MIA- Shawn Murphy, OG, Utah State –

111. CLE- Martin Rucker, TE, Missouri – I really wanted him to go to the Colts after I saw that Brad Cottam was gone.

112. CIN- Anthony Collins, OT, Kansas – I’m surprised that Collins dropped this far, this is another player that I would have been happy if he had fallen to the Colts.

113. NYJ- Dwight Lowery, CB, San Jose State –

114. BUF- Reggie Corner, CB, Akron –

115. TB- Dre Moore, DT, Maryland –

116. ARI- Kenny Iwebema, DE, Iowa –

117. PHI- Quintin Demps, FS, UTEP –

118. HOU- Xavier Adibi, OLB, Virginia Tech –

119. DEN- Jack Williams, CB, Kent State –

120. CHI- Craig Steltz, SS, LSU –

121. SEA- Red Bryant, DT, Texas A&M –

122. DAL- Tashard Choice, RB, Georgia Tech –

123. NYG- Bryan Kehl, OLB, BYU –

124. WAS- Justin Tryon, CB, Arizona State – small but plays physical so it make up for it and he’s pretty fast. Attacks against the run. He can return kick which makes him dangerous when he makes INTs as well.

125. OAK- Arman Shields, WR, Richmond –

126. TEN- Lavelle Hawkins, WR, California –

127. IND- Jacob Tamme, TE, Kentucky – I’ll take it, I would have much rather had Brad Cottam or Martin Rucker, but I’ll take it, this is a good pick.

128. STL- Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky – Bryan is not happy about his one and I can’t blame him especially considering they already took a WR in the second round.

129. NE- Jonathan Wilhite, CB, Auburn –

130. PIT- Tony Hills, OT, Texas –

131. PHI- Jack Ikegwuonu, CB, Wisconsin –

132. BUF- Derek Fine, TE, Kansas – Really?

133. BAL- David Hale, OT, Weber State –

134. TEN- Stanford Keglar, OLB, Purdue –

135. GB- Josh Sitton, OT, Central Florida –

Round 5:

136. DET- Kenneth Moore, WR, Wake Forest –

137. MIN- John David Booty, QB, USC –

138. ATL- Robert James, OLB, Arizona State –

139. DEN- Ryan Torain, RB, Arizona State –

140. KC- Brandon Carr, CB, Grand Valley State – REACH… and a BIG BIG REACH… I thought this guy would be lucky to go in the 7th round.

141. CAR- Gary Barnidge, TE, Louisville –

142. CHI- Zack Bowman, CB, Nebraska –

143. DAL- Orlando Scandrick, CB, Boise State –

144. NO- DeMario Pressley, DT, NC State –

145. CIN- Jason Shirley, DT, Fresno State –

146. DET- Jerome Felton, FB, Furman –

147. BUF- Alvin Bowen, OLB, Iowa State –

148. DEN- Carlton Powell, DT, Virginia Tech –

149. ARI- Timothy Hightower, RB, Richmond –

150. GB- Breno Giacomini, OT, Louisville –

151. HOU- Frank Okam, DT, Texas –

152. MIN- Letroy Guion, DT, Florida State –

153. NE- Matt Slater, WR, UCLA – They’ll use him as a kick returner, that would be my guess anyhow.

154. ATL- Kroy Biermann, OLB, Montana –

155. JAX- Thomas Williams, OLB, USC –

156. PIT- Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon – I guess they wanted a good back up for Roethlisberger.

157. STL- Roy Schuening, OG, Oregon State –

158. CHI- Kellen Davis, TE, Michigan State –

159. JAX- Trae Williams, CB, South Florida –

160. TB- Josh Johnson, QB, San Diego –

161. IND- Marcus Howard, OLB, Georgia – YAY! I love this pick. We already took a LB in this draft, but we definitely need depth. I love it, good player.

162. NYJ- Erik Ainge, QB, Tennessee – Good pick by the Jets.

163. SEA- Owen Schmitt, FB, West Virginia –

164. NO- Carl Nicks, OT, Nebraska –

165. NYG- Jonathan Goff, ILB, Vanderbilt –

166. SD- Marcus Thomas, RB, UTEP –

Round 6:

167. DAL- Erik Walden, DE, Middle Tennessee State –

168. WAS- Durant Brooks, P, Georgia Tech – First punter taken in the draft, very powerful and accurate, with a lot of hang time. He can pin opponents inside their 20 as well as kick away from dangerous returners. As an added bonus he gets rid of the ball quickly, making it very hard for his punts to be blocked. However, he’s not very versatile, having never kicked off in college, but can be a holder on field goals.

169. OAK- Trevor Scott, DE, Buffalo –

170. KC- Barry Richardson, OT, Clemson –

171. NYJ- Marcus Henry, WR, Kansas –

172. ATL- Thomas Brown, RB, Georgia –

173. HOU- Dominique Barber, FS, Minnesota –

174. SF- Josh Morgan, WR, Virginia Tech –

175. TB- Geno Hayes, OLB, Florida State –

176. MIA- Jalen Parmele, RB, Toledo –

177. CIN- Corey Lynch, FS, Appalachian State –

178. NO- Taylor Mehlhaff, K, Wisconsin –

179. BUF- Xavier Omon, RB, Miami-

180. WAS- Kereem Moore, S, Nicholls State –

181. CAR- Nick Hayden, DT, Wisconsin –

182. KC- Kevin Robinson, WR, Utah State-

183. DEN- Spencer Larsen, ILB, Arizona –

184. PHI- Michael Gibson, OG, California –

185. ARI-Christopher Harrington, DE, Texas A&M –

186. WAS- Colt Brennan, QB, Hawaii – Wow… and Andre Woodson is still on the board.

187. MIN- John Sullivan, C, Notre Dame –

188. PIT- Mike Humpal, ILB, Iowa –

189. SEA- Tyler Schmitt, LS, San Diego State –

190. CLE- Athyba Rubin, DT, Iowa State –

191. CLE- Paul Hubbard, WR, Wisconsin –

192. SD- DeJuan Tribble, CB, Boston College –

193. MIN- Jaymar Johnson, WR, Jackson State –

194. PIT- Ryan Mundy, S, West Virginia –

195. MIA- Donald Thomas, OG, UConn –

196. IND- Tom Santi, TE, Virginia – Another tight end. I guess if they aren’t planning on bringing back Bryan Fletcher then this makes sense. Santi is a well rounded tight end. He can find the soft spot in zones and is a very good blocker. He’s a very very all around versatile player. He can line up in the back field, he can block on kick returns, he can line up wide, this is really a good player that can be used at a lot of difference positions.

197. NE- Bo Ruud, OLB, Nebraska –

198. NYG- Andre Woodson, QB, Kentucky – A solid backup for Eli Manning.

199. NYG- Robert Henderson, DE, Southern Mississippi –

200. PHI- Joe Mays, ILB, North Dakota State –

201. IND- Steven Justice, C, Wake Forest – This is the center that I wanted us to take in the first place.

202. IND- Mike Hart, RB, Michigan – I am STOKED about this pick. This is an absolute steal at this point in the draft. He’s the all-time leading rusher at Michigan, which is very very impressive.

203. PHI- Andrew Studebaker, DE, Wheaton –

204. MIA- Lex Hilliard, RB, Montana

205. IND- Pierre Garcon, WR, Mount Union – I’m not surprised that we grabbed a wide receiver. Hopefully this is a good one. I believe we will also be using him to return kicks. This could be a huge attribute for the Colts.

206. BAL- Haruki Nakamura, S, Cincinnati –

207. CIN- Matt Sherry, TE, Villanova –

Seventh Round:

208. CHI- Ervin Baldwin, DE, Michigan State –

209. GB- Matt Flynn, QB, LSU – They take ANOTHER quarterback, they’re going to have 3 QBs competing for a starting spot… poor Aaron Rogers.

210. KC- Brian Johnston, DE, Gardner Webb –

211. NYJ- Nate Garner, OT, Arkansas –

212. ATL- Wilrey Fontenot, CB, Arizona –

213. JAX- Chauncey Washington, RB, USC –

214. SF- Larry Grant, OLB, Ohio State –

215. BAL- Justin Harper, WR, Virginia Tech –

216. DET- Landon Cohen, DT, Ohio –

217. GB- Brett Swain, WR, San Diego State –

218. DET- Caleb Campbell, SS, Army – I’m really glad that this guy was picked. I would have even liked him to go to the Colts. He’s very versatile, he’s able to play both safety and outside linebacker.

219. BUF- Demetrius Bell, OT, Northwestern State –

220. DEN- Joshua Barrett, SS, Arizona State –

221. CAR- Hilee Taylor, OLB, North Carolina –

222. CHI- Chester Adams, OT, Georgia –

223. HOU- Alex Brink, QB, Washington State –

224. BUF- Steve Johnson, WR, Kentucky –

225. ARI- Brandon Keith, OT, Northern Iowa –

226. OAK- Chaz Schilens, WR, San Diego State –

227. DEN- Peyton Hillis, FB, Arkansas –

228. STL- Christopher Chamberlain, OLB, Tulsa –

229. TEN- Cary Williams, CB, Washington –

230. PHI- King Dunlap, OT, Auburn –

231. CLE- Alex Hall, DE, Saint Augustine’s –

232. ATL- Keith Zinger, TE, LSU –

233. SEA- Justin Forsett, RB, California –

234. SD- Corey Clark, OT, Texas A&M –

235. SEA- Brandon Coutu, K, Georgia –

236. IND- Jamey Richard, Center, Buffalo – Three centers in one draft. I suppose they’re intending on using them at different positions on the o-line and not just center. This gives us depth on the o-line, but I still am a little surprised.

237. NO- Adrian Arrington, WR, Michigan –

238. TB- Cory Boyd, RB, South Carolina –

239. KC- Mike Merritt, TE, Central Florida –

240. BAL- Allen Patrick, RB, Oklahoma –

241. CAR- Geoff Schwartz, OT, Oregon –

242. WAS- Rob Jackson, DE, Kansas State –

243. CHI- Joey LaRocque, OLB, Oregon State –

244. CIN- Angelo Craig, OLB, Cincinnati –

245. MIA- Lionel Dotson, DT, Arizona –

246. CIN- Mario Urrutia, WR, Louisville –

247. CHI- Kirk Barton, OT, Ohio State –

248. CHI- Marcus Monk, WR, Arkansas –

249. WAS- Christopher Horton, S, UCLA –

250. CAR- Mackenzy Bernadeau, OG, Bentley –

251. BUF- Kennard Cox, CB, Pittsburgh –

252. STL- David Vobora, OLB, Idaho – MR IRRELEVANT!

Live Draft Blog (Day 1)

Okay, so I will be live blogging for at least the first two rounds. I will report every pick and make comments on the ones that provoke enough though from me to do so… after today’s rounds wrap up I will create a post that addresses how the draft has effected the players and teams we like. So I will put up who the Colts and Rams pick as well as where players from Tennessee and Missouri go.

FIRST ROUND:

1. MIA- Jake Long, OT, Michigan – We’ve known this pick for a few days now, so it’s obviously not a surprise. I know Bryan wanted him in St Louis, but I think he’s already come to terms with it.

2. STL- Chris Long, DE, Virginia – I personally think that Glenn Dorsey would have been a much smarter pick here, but I’m also not surprised by it, but I know Bryan’s not happy… though I just received a text message from him saying that he now like Chris Long; I’m guessing this is because he’ll like any player that the Rams select… unless it’s Aqib Talib.

3. ATL- Matt Ryan, QB, Boston College – Well, there goes my mock draft… I knew this would be an interesting pick whichever way it went. I think that Glenn Dorsey would have had more of an immediate impact, but Matt Ryan is by no means a surprising decision. The concern that I have for him is that he doesn’t have great protection nor a lot of weapons to throw to.

4. OAK- Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas – Well he should be starting immediately for this team, and it looks like the Raiders could be dangerous next year. They made a lot of moves in free agency, and they may have over-payed to fill their needs, but the point is that they did filled a lot of needs on both sides of the ball, most noticeably safety, Gibril Wilson, wide receiver, Javon Walker, and defensive end, Kalimba Edwards… plus Jamarcus Russell has to be all sorts of excited.

5. KC- Glenn Dorsey, DT, LSU – I’m not surprised with this pick, but I am surprised they didn’t trade down to a team that wanted Dorsey more than they did, so that they could trade down to a sport and still get Ryan Clady or Branden Albert. But Dorsey will make an immediate impact on for this D-line, and will have the opportunity to sack, former LSU teammate and now division rival, Jamarcus Russell.

6. NYJ- Vernon Gholston, DE, Ohio St – I would have been surprised if they didn’t take Vernon Gholston here. They really wanted Glenn Dorsey or Darren McFadden, but weren’t quite that lucky. Being in the AFC East, they really needed a good pass rusher to get pressure on tom brady.

7. NO- Sedrick Ellis, DT, USC – I think this was a good idea for them to trade up and grab him, because I highly doubt that he would have fallen to them at pick 10.

8. JAX- Derrick Harvey, DE, florida – The Ravens REALLY wanted Matt Ryan to fall this far and when he didn’t they traded down to the Jaguars. I hate florida, and the Jags are a division rival of the Colts, so this works out just fine for me… I really hope this guy is a bust for a lot of reasons.

9. CIN- Keith Rivers, LB, USC – This had to be Keith Rivers. If it wasn’t then that would have been a huge mistake. They really need linebackers, so this really wasn’t a question in my mind.

10. NE- Jerod Mayo, LB, Tennessee – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I hate the *patriots! I HATE them! Why didn’t they take a corner, like Cromartie?

11. BUF- Leodis McKelvin, CB, Troy – I’m shocked. I really thought that they would take Devin Thomas, because they have such a great need at wide receiver… but I guess they needed more corners to help against the firepower of the patriots and he may be able to help them in that area.

12. DEN- Ryan Clady, OT, Boise St – From a Boise St Bronco to a Denver Bronco. This should be a good fit.

13. CAR- Jonathan Stewart, RB, Oregon – I’m surprised that they didn’t take a lineman, but this will give them a good tandem at the running back position. He needs to improve his blocking and receiving skills but the Panthers like to run the ball, so he should be a good fit here.

14. CHI- Chris Williams, OT, Vanderbilt – Wow… I was thinking Branden Albert if they went with an o-line pick, or Rashard Mendenhall because they struggle in the running game. But Chris Williams isn’t a bad pick, it’s just not what I expected or what I would have done.

15. KC- Branden Albert, OG, Virginia – The Chiefs are trading like crazy. I’m surprised that the Lions didn’t grab Mendenhall here, but I guess they think they can grab him at 17 instead. We’ll find out if this trade was worth it after we see who Arizona takes and what Detroit got in return from Kansas City.

16. ARI- Dominique Rogers-Cromartie, CB, Tennessee St – We’ll see how he does at the next level. He’s a good athlete, but playing at that small of a school won’t give him the kind of experience that would help him be better prepared for the NFL, but plenty of great players have come from small schools, so time will tell.

17. DET- Gosder Cherilus, OT, Boston College – Rashard Mendenhall? They need a running back… I don’t get this pick.

18. BAL- Joe Flacco, QB, Delaware – This is a good move by the Ravens. They obviously need a QB, and Flacco grew up just a couple hours from Baltimore, so he is already a hometown hero, if you will. He’s tall, so he can see over the line, and he’s also athletic and can be mobile in and out of the pocket. We’ll see how he does in the NFL.

19. CAR – Jeff Otah, OT, Pittsburgh – When Carolina jumped back into the first round this was who I thought they wanted. The fans clearly weren’t happy about it, and I’m not sure the move was worth it but I haven’t seen what they had to give up yet… I just found out that the Panthers gave up their second and fourth round picks from this year and their first round pick for the 2009 draft… verdict: not worth it.

20. TB- Aqib Talib, CB, Kansas – I really thought Talib would fall to the Steelers. I also thought that the Buccs would take Phillip Merling and that if they went with CB they would take Mike Jenkins, but I guess there have been bigger surprises in the history of the world… I’m sure Julius Caesar was more surprised when he found out Brutus was a conspirator… I’m kidding, it wasn’t that bad of a pick, but I am quite shocked.

21. ATL- Sam Baker, OT, USC – I know Bryan wanted Baker to fall to the Rams in the second round and I’m surprised that the Falcons moved up for him, but he had some injuries this year, so if he can be healthy then this could be a good value at this pick, again, only time will tell. I’m curious as to what they gave up for this.

22. DAL- Felix Jones, RB, Arkansas – With both Mendenhall and Jones available, I was sure that the Cowboys would address their need at CB first and then select whichever of the two were available with their pick at 28. I don’t think this was a smart pick. He’s a great kick returner and is a great running back but I don’t think it was the smartest pick here. This will give them an amazing tandem in the back field, but I think they could have had the exact same tandem if they would have waited 6 more picks before taking Felix.

23. PIT- Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois – Wow, I thought they would address some of their holes on defense, but they may want to go to the two back system with him and Willie Parker. That does seem to be a hot trend in the NFL, to have a tandem in the backfield instead of a back to carry the load all by himself. Mendenhall will compliment Parker nicely, and it’s a great value to get him this late. I just didn’t see that coming.

24. TEN- Chris Johnson, RB, East Carolina – I am absolutely baffled. They are in desperate need of a WR so that Vince Young can have some weapons to work with. Chris Johnson is the fastest player in the draft, running the 40-yard-dash at 4.24, which is blazing speed, and he’s a great receiving back, so maybe it will work out. They could use him similar to the way the Falcons used Warrick Dunn with Michael Vick.

25. DAL- Mike Jenkins, CB, South Florida – I’m not surprised that the Cowboys jumped up to get Jenkins. They need a CB, and they wanted Aqib Talib, and so with so many corners gone, I could see why they felt the need to jump up for this. Expect them to take a WR with their next pick.

26. HOU- Duane Brown, OT, Virginia Tech – Not what I would have expected. I don’t think this was a smart pick, nor did they get good value out of it, in my opinion.

27. SD- Antoine Cason, CB, Arizona – This could be a good pick. It gives them depth and he’ll be a good third CB. They don’t have another pick until the 5th round so for their sake, I hope they think this was worth it.

28. SEA- Lawrence Jackons, DE, USC – I thought they would take Kentwan Balmer, the DT, but it was still defensive line. I personally think that the Seahawks are consistently overrated, so I don’t have much of an opinion about this pick.

29. SF- Kentwan Balmer, DT, North Carolina – He’s a big guy, that will fit well as the nose tackle in a 3-4, so if the 49ers play a 3-4 this year then I think this is a good pick. I’m surprised that Phillip Merling is still on the board, and thought the 9ers would jump on that, but clearly I was wrong.

30. NYJ- Dustin Keller, TE, Purdue – This is a good pick. Dustin Keller is an absolute stud when it comes to tight ends, he’s not much of a blocker, but is compared to Dallas Clark as a receiving tight end. He should help the Jets out a lot. He ran a 4.55 in the 40, had 26 reps on the bench press, and has a 38 inch vertical jump.

XX. NE- Pick Forfeited

31. NYG- Kenny Phillips, FS, Miami – This is a good pick and also made the fans very happy. They clearly made this pick hoping that he will be able to replace Gibril Wilson. I don’t think he’s that good, but he’s still their best bet.

Second Round:

32. MIA- Phillip Merling, DE, Clemson – Merling could have easily been a first round pick. He’s a good all around player and should help the Dolphins out quite a bit, especially if Jason Taylor decides he wants out.

33. STL- Donnie Avery, WR, Houston – Bryan is NOT happy. I’m not surprised they took a WR, but this is not who I would have thought.

34. WAS- Devin Thomas, WR, Michigan St – This is who I thought the Rams should have taken. This is a great grab for the Redskins however, getting a ton of value out of this pick and who, in my opinion, is the best wide receiver in the draft. With 4.4 speed and a 10’6 broad jump, this guy is an athlete and will be a huge weapon for the ‘Skins. Strong receiver and will break through arm tackles, and most importantly he has GREAT hands.

35. KC- Brandon Flowers, CB, Virginia Tech – The Chiefs definitely have had the best draft so far. The have Glenn Dorsey, Branden Albert and Brandon Flowers. Maybe the Jared Allen trade wasn’t such a bad idea after all… if they can keep this young group of players together then they could have a really good team after they’ve gained some experience.

36. GB- Jordy Nelson, WR, Kansas St – This is an interesting pick, but Jordy Nelson is good. He is also quite the kick returner. This should help make Aaron Rogers’ transition to being the starter a little bit easier. This will give him one more weapon, and will help get him better field position with almost every possession. But this is not the order that I expected the wide receivers to be taken in.

37. ATL- Curtis Lofton, ILB, Oklahoma – He is a tenacious linebacker, and could really help the Falcons rebuild.

38. SEA- John Carlson, TE, Notre Dame – I think Carlson is slightly overrated, but the Seahawks need a tight end, especially with the offense they run. Again, Seattle isn’t a team that means a whole lot to me.

39. SF- Chilo Rachal, OG, USC – Can play both OT and OG, not very durable, but is still a good pick here.

40. NO- Tracy Porter, CB, Indiana – Great cover corner, he’s kind of short, but can jump so he makes up for it. He’s not very physical so he’ll have trouble defending wide receivers that are physical. He’s also a returner, so him and Reggie Bush will be able to be their two kick returners.

41. BUF- James Hardy, WR, Indiana – It’s always good to have another weapon and this could provide matchup problems for a weak new england secondary. He’s a big receiver who can jump too. He had 36 career TDs. He also has good speed, running a 4.45 at the combine in the 40, which is awesome speed for a guy that big.

42. DEN- Eddie Royal, WR, Virginia Tech – Has a huge vertical, and can return kicks as well. Should be a good weapon for the Broncos.

43. MIN- Tyrell Johnson, SS, Arkansas St – Holds the conference record for most tackles, and steps up in big games. Good pick for the Vikings, and should strengthen that defensive secondary that needs help.

44. CHI- Matt Forte, RB, Tulane – I’m just glad it wasn’t Jamaal Charles, who I want to drop to the Colts.

45. DET- Jordon Dizon, OLB, Colorado – This should help out a defense that needs it. I think they were one of the worst defenses in the league last year.

46. CIN- Jerome Simpson, WR, Coastal Carolina – Another receiver taken before DeSean Jackson and Limas Sweed. But the Bengals could need another wide receiver if Chad Johnson really does refuse to play. Either way this guy is a GREAT athlete. Also has great character, which is something the Bengals clearly need.

47. PHI- Trevor Laws, DT, Notre Dame – Probably Notre Dame’s best player. He can play both DT and DE and is athletic. Never gives up on a play and plays hard for 60 minutes.

48. WAS- Fred Davis, TE, USC – Was USC’s main threat in the passing game. Providing a lot of weapons for their quarterback. Davis is very athletic for a tight ends with good quickness and speed. He’s a reliable receiver with good ball skills, long arms, and big hands.

49. PHI- DeSean Jackson, WR, California – FAST! Great return man, so the Eagles take out two birds with one stone here. Great agility as well.

50. ARI- Calais Campbell, DE, Miami – It’s about time somebody drafted him. If he hadn’t been taken by Arizona here, then I’m sure the Redskins would have taken him next. He could easily be a DT or a DE. Has ludicrously long arms and is tall. Great value at this pick.

51. WAS- Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma – Another weapon for the Redskins. GREAT hands. Very agile, and a great value at this pick. He’s big and strong but with a good balance of athleticism. Catches the ball and secures it in traffic. Wins jump balls and is great in the red zone… The Redskins are making Jason Campbell happy, that’s for sure.

52. JAX- Quentin Groves, DE, Auburn – The Jaguars take another DE after taking Derrick Harvey at #8 overall. Both are from the SEC and could be dangerous coming off the ends.

53. PIT- Limas Sweed, WR, Texas – Big receiver. Should work well with Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh taking skill position guys after taking Rashard Mendenhall in the first round. This should really help their offense.

54. TEN- Jason Jones, DE, E Michigan – Might have been a reach, but with Limas Sweed taken the pick before they decided to go with somebody who could get pressure on opposing quarterbacks… I have a feeling that this draft is not going the way that the Titans had hoped. They still desperately need a wide receiver.

55. BAL- Ray Rice, RB, Rutgers – A back up to Willis McGahee, or this in one more team switching to the two-back system. A good running back, but once again, I’m just glad it wasn’t Jamaal Charles. Great pick. Strong RB,

56. GB- Brian Brohm, QB, Louisville – This is an interesting pick. They’re either brining him in to back up Aaron Rogers or to provide competition for Aaron Rogers, or probably both. He definitely fits well in Green Bay’s offense as well, but durability is a question mark.

57. MIA- Chad Henne, QB, Michigan – Tough guy for a quarterback. Good arm strength, but not mobile, and not super accurate.

58. TB- Dexter Jackson, WR, Appalacian St –

59. IND- Mike Pollak, C, Arizona StI don’t really know what to think about this pick. We definitely need more depth at the o-line, but I really didn’t think that we would take a center this early. We need a OG, and OT more plus both Jamaal Charles, RB and Jeremy Thompson, DE were still available. I know Jeff Saturday is getting old, but I’m just not sure about this. I suppose they’ll use him as an offensive guard, which is definitely a need, but I’m still surprised.

60. GB- Patrick Lee, CB, Auburn – Has good size and can also help in the return game.

61. DAL- Martellus Bennett, TE, Texas A&M – Big TE, good blocker, but doesn’t play as fast as you would think based on his times.

62. NE- Terrence Wheatley, CB, Colorado – Trying to get younger on defense, but I don’t think this will make the difference that they’re looking for.

63. NYG- Terrell Thomas, CB, USC – Physical, like to play bump and run. Second defensive back taken by the Giants after taking Kenny Phillips in the first round.

Last Minute Wish List

Similar to the last one, but this time around, I’m going to list them by position and where I think the Colts would pick them at rather than by where they’d be selected… so it will look like this:

Pos: Name, College (overall pick)

So, here’s the list….

RB: Jamaal Charles, Texas (59)- If we don’t get him here, I don’t know what we’ll do, but he really should still be available at 59 with most big boards having him right around 55, and the few teams immediately before the Colts have bigger needs than to pick a RB in the second round.

DE: Kenny Iwebama, Iowa (93 or 127)- I’d prefer us to take a TE at 93 but if they’re affraid he won’t fall to 127 then they might have to reach…. If we don’t get him then I think we could get Marcus Dixon from Hampton in the 6th or 7th round, who I think is underrated.

TE: Brad Cottam, Tennessee (93)- if he’s still available at 93 then we take him, if he’s not then we draft Iwebama and take Martin Rucker from Missouri at 161.

DT: Red Bryant, Texas A&M (127)- if he’s available I think he’s worth it and would definitely would be happy with him but wouldn’t be heart broken without him… but I don’t really know where else in the draft we would take a DT.

WR: Arman Shield, Richmond (161)- if we have Brad Cottam then we won’t need Martin Rucker here, so we should grab this WR instead, he should fall this far and would be a steal, if he’s not available we could probably grab DJ Hall from Alabama or Darius Reynaud from West Virginia with one of the many picks we have in the 6th round.

O-Line: Pedro Sosa, Rutgers (201)- If one of the great WRs isn’t available then we should grab Sosa to help provide depth for the o-line. If Jamey Richard from Buffalo is available in the 6th round then we should take him. If not then Doug Legursky from Marshall should be available for one of our later 6th round picks.

OLB: Ezra Butler, Nevada (202)- If available for one of our later 6th round picks then I hope we get him, or else we’ll probably have to grab somebody in the 7th round, or if we don’t get somebody in an earlier round that I wanted then we may not even need him at this point.

CB: This will be in the 7th round and will hopefully be either Reggie Corner from Akron or Marcus Walker from Oklahoma. If we don’t take one of them in the 7th round then we could grab another o-linemen, or somebody else to fill one of the needs not addressed in an earlier round.

Last Minute Mock

Okay, so I had a little time before the first round actually started, so I threw together an eleventh-hour first round mock. Without further ado:

1. MIA- Jake Long- OT, Michigan

2. STL-Chris Long-DE, Virgina

3. ATL-Glenn Dorsey- DT, LSU

4. OAK- Vernon Gholston-DE, Ohio St

5. KC- Ryan Clady-OT, Boise St (if they don’t trade this pick)

6. NYJ- Darren McFadden- RB, Arkansas

7. NE- Leodis McKelvin-CB, Troy

8. BAL-Matt Ryan-QB, Boston College

9. CIN- Sedrick Ellis-DT, USC

10. NO- Mike Jenkins-CB, South Florida

11. BUF- Devin Thomas-WR, Michigan St

12. DEN- Chris Williams-OT, Vanderbilt

13. CAR- Derrick Harvey-DE, florida

14. CHI- Branden Albert-OG, Virgina

15. DET- Rashard Mendenhall- RB, Illinois

16. ARI- Dominique Rodgers-Cromatic-CB, Tennessee State

17. KC- Phillip Merling-DE, Clemson

18. HOU- Jonathan Stewart-RB, Oregon

19. PHI- Jeff Otah- OT, Pittsburgh

20. TB- Keith Rivers-OLB, USC

21. WAS- Limas Sweed-WR, Texas

22. DAL- Felix Jones-RB, Arkansas

23. PIT- Aqib Talib-CB, Kansas

24. TEN- Kentwan Balmer- DT, North Carolina

25. SEA- Gosder Cherilus- OT, Boston College

26. JAX- Lawrence Jackson- DE, USC

27. SD- Sam Baker- OT, USC

28. DAL- James Hardy- WR, Indiana

29. SF- Calais Campbell- DE, Miami

30. GB- Brandon Flowers- CB, Virginia Tech

31. NE- Pick Forfeited

32. NYG- Kenny Phillips- FS, Miami

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